As many California residents are likely aware, everyone has bad days at work. However, when those bad days include discrimination, harassment or a hostile work environment, there may be illegal activities going on in the workplace. Employers must follow state and federal employment laws when it comes to the way they treat their employees.
A perfect example of illegal treatment is when an employee is fired as a form of discrimination, harassment or hostility. When this happens, the employer may be held legally responsible for the wrongful termination of that employee, which means that employee may be deserving of compensation. A California nurse has recently sued her former employer for retaliation and wrongful termination, as she believes she was fired for illegal reasons.
The woman was working as a nurse in a Kaiser hospital where she felt very strongly that the environment was putting the patients in danger. She complained to her employer that the station to which she was told to be in position was not close enough to monitor the vitals of all of the patients at the same time. In addition, she felt that the setup would not allow for backup to arrive in a timely manner if necessary.
Unfortunately, the woman's employer did not make any changes and their lack of responsiveness may have resulted in the death of a three-year-old girl. The girl was admitted and when she began to have health trouble the nurse called for help. Doctors did not arrive for 10 minutes and an anesthesiologist did not arrive for 45 minutes. Therefore, the girl was not appropriately intubated in time and she ultimately ended up being taken off of life support and dying.
The nurse's lawsuit claims that her employer tried to force her to lie and cover up the real reasons for the girl's death. When she refused she was promptly fired. Therefore, she has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for wrongful termination and employer retaliation.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Kaiser Nurse Blames Firing on Patient Care," Tish Kraft, April 22, 2014